Newcastle United won’t be looking forward to this one. The Magpies received their customary dismissal from the FA Cup at the hands of Watford at St James’ Park. Contrastingly, high flying Man City rested several main players at home to Burnley and still ran out 5-0 winners.
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Tuesday 29th January, 20:00
St James’ Park
Benitez will be dreading this fixture as his side have been in poor form in recent weeks, having only produced one win from from five matches. In particular, Newcastle have shown a vulnerability to teams in the top six in the league, losing each of their games to clubs at the top end of the table, this gives credence to Benitez’s beliefs that his team are in desperate need of reinforcements in this transfer window.
In addition to this, goals have been at a premium at St James’ Park, as they have only scored five goals in five games and conceded nine in as many games. Newcastle’s inability to score goals coupled with their lack of clean sheets in recent fixtures sees the North East side languishing just above the drop zone. Newcastle have only produced one clean sheet in six matches and averaged just over a goal a game.
As unlikely as it may be, Newcastle really need to begin to pick up points in this, as they could see themselves slipping into the relegation zone by the end of the night, Cardiff take on Arsenal at the Emirates, with the Welsh side only two points away from Newcastle. Newcastle, to get anything from this, would need to remedy their especially poor home form, with ten home losses and the accumulation of only eleven goals at St James’ Park.
In contrasting circumstances, Man City are playing on four fronts having dispatched Burnley in the FA Cup at the weekend and booked their place in the EFL cup with Chelsea in midweek against Burton. The Manchester club have been in fine form, winning their last six matches in all competitions and their last four Premier League games.
On the road, Man City’s dominance over teams dwindles slightly as they’ve scored only nine in six matches, opposed to the twenty-eight that they have scored at the Etihad in the last six games. Also they have lost two games playing away in the last six matches, the two losses coming at the end of December.
Those losses have put City in a tricky situation. City are four points adrift of leaders Liverpool, Guardiola will want to bridge the gap to just the one point to put pressure on the Merseyside club, who play against Leicester at home on Wednesday. The City boss will see this match as a fantastic opportunity to do just that, as his side have always shown they can perform against the league’s bottom six. City have won against all six relegation-threatened sides, conceding only two and scoring twenty.
City go into this far fresher than their opponents, City were able to give rest to key players such as Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, and Sergio Aguero.
Although the home side rested players against Watford, they still miss three key midfielders for the bout. Ki Sung-Yeung is out due to injuries sustained in the Asia Cup, Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey will both not feature on Tuesday night’s game.
The home side are priced at 14/1 to beat City on Tuesday night and with good reason, United’s poor home form and City’s ableness to find victory by large margins against lower clubs vouch for the steep odds.
Having shown no strength to compete with higher placed clubs, bookies agree that Newcastle will be there for the taking for Guardiola’s Man City, who are priced at 1/6 to get a win. Taking into consideration, City’s scoring form against low placed sides and Newcastle’s low rate of clean sheets, goals will be on the cards in this one on Tuesday night. With the Citizens likely to score most of those goals BTTS maybe a difficult ask for Newcastle, City to win and BTTS is priced at 17/10.
However a more profitable bet would be City to win Over 2.5 Goals (4/7) or City to win with a -2 handicap (6/4), with the Manchester club likely to dominate this match from the off.
Outsider bets for the match would be a Newcastle Double Chance priced at 7/2 or a Draw priced at 6/1, with the most Newcastle gaining from this being a draw.
City to Win Over 2.5 Goals (4/7)
City to Win with a -2 Handicap (6/4)